The national debate about the issue of slavery between the North and South was ultimately one was of the main contributors that led up to Civil War. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the North sought out to begin Reconstruction to rebuild the South that was left in ruins due to battles being fought in their territories and the destruction the Union army left behind. Reconstruction was taken up in three different forms which were Lincoln’s 10% plan, Johnson’s plan, and the Radical’s plan. While all these Reconstruction plans made actions against each one another and they all had goals in mind to achieve, there were still many differences between these plans like the beliefs behind them and the way each plan wanted different things. Right after the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was the first to create a Reconstruction plan, his Ten-Percent Reconstruction Plan was based on forgiveness because he believed that the South didn’t secede legally and offered pardons to anyone who would take an oath of allegiance to the Union and pledge to obey all laws concerning slavery, but all high ranking confederates army officers and government officials were excluded from this. Also, it allowed Southern states to rejoin the Union if 10% of its voters in the 1860 election took that oath of allegiance and after that state could rewrite their constitutions and create new governments and Lincoln revised them. Lincoln was also in favor of granting former slaves civil liberties and he guaranteed the protection of the Southerners’ private properties.This plan was the most lenient of the three and was a short and simple process, just the way Lincoln wanted it to be. After Lincoln’s assassination, his successor was Andrew Jackson and his plan issued hundreds of pardons including high ranking confederates and government officials although he proclaimed that no pardons would be granted to leading Confederates and those whose property was more than 20,000 dollars. He believed that the South should rejoin as soon possible and blacks should only have the right to vote in order to keep Southern Democrats out of power. Also, unlike Lincoln and Radical Republicans, Johnson actually enforced that each state had to ratify the 13th amendment, repeals ordinances of secession, and to repudiate all Confederates’ debt in order to be readmitted into the Union,  and he hired governors to supervise the writings of the new state constitutions. The biggest major difference Johnson’s plan had against the other two plans was the fact that he was more hesitant and did not want to give blacks civil rights except suffrage and he rejected any radical republican attempts to reorganize the South. Unlike Republicans, he also returned confiscated land back to white southerners and that land was confiscated in the first place to give to former slaves due to the Freedmen’s Bureau. The Radical’s plan or Congressional plan was based on revenge, unlike Lincoln and Johnson, they wanted to punish the South for causing the war and for the damage that came out of it. They believed Lincoln was not harsh enough and were more cautious of Confederates, they also didn’t allow Confederates and their supporters to vote at all. In contrast to Lincoln and Johnson, they were more strict with their Reconstruction Act in which they divided the South into 5 military districts, placed Union troops in the South, and wanted them to ratify the 14th Amendment. The final difference between this plan and the other two plans was that they offered way more protection and civil liberties like the 14th and 15th Amendments to blacks and were determined to make both races equal. All these Reconstruction plans had many different aspects to one another and affected the South in different ways because they had different opinions that led them to want different things. Each Reconstruction plan was aimed at getting the South to rejoin the Union, although the radical Republicans wanted to punish them first. When Lincoln passed his 10% plan, Republicans in Congress reacted quickly against this with the Wade-Davis Bill which required a Southern state to have 50%  of its voters to swear an “iron-clad oath” in order to rejoin the Union instead of 10%. Republicans did this because they feared the restoration of plantation owners back to power and the possibility of blacks being enslaved again and their main focus was to not let that happen. However, Lincoln got his way by “pocket-vetoing” the Wade-Davis Bill and he did this because he feared this bill would ruin any chance of ending the war quickly. Lincoln’s goal was to end the war, to reunite the Nation, and to prevent more conflict as quickly as possible. Johnson also believed in a lenient reconstruction and he also didn’t want to punish the South and his goal was reunite the South and North as fast as possible just like Lincoln’s.Johnson’s and Lincoln’s plans were the most similar of the three, but Johnson’s plan went from pleasing Congress and Republicans to making them enraged. Johnson vetoed both the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Civil Rights Act which gave former slaves financial support, education, and civil liberties because he was not in favor of the African American movement occurring during the Reconstruction period. However, radical Republicans in Congress fought back by overriding Johnson’s vetoes in order to continue giving African Americans rights. The final thing radical Republicans in Congress in order to help them achieve what they wanted was the establishment of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction which was a committee that created harsher requirements for readmitting Southern states. All three Reconstruction plans were similar in which they all wanted their way and they all fought each other for it.


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